Arrival to the USA


Arriving in the United States for the first time can be a difficult and scary experience. Luckily, we have many tips to help keep the process as easy as possible. Furthermore, please make certain that you ATTEND your home country pre-departure orientation BEFORE you arrive to the USA. There is a lot of valuable information that is delivered during this session and it is required that you attend.

Plan Ahead!

1. Be aware of travel times, schedules and prices – research them in advance
2. Stay alert and aware
3. Always keep your cash, passport and visa documents with you when you are traveling

When you first arrive in the United States, be sure to have the following documents readily available to you:

1. DS 2019 Form. This document is issued by American Pool Enterprises, Inc. and is your work authorization document in this country.

2. I-94 Automated Record of Entry.  This is a U.S. government entry/departure record number that is electronically assigned to you upon entrance to the USA. You may need access to this number throughout your program. Click here for additional information on how to access this information.

3. Passport with a valid J-1 visa. This is what will grant you entry into the USA.

4. Your J-1 Participant handbook that you received with your DS 2019 form.

5. A copy of your signed Job Offer of Employment.

Things to Know for United States Customs and Immigration
After gathering your bags from the baggage carousel, continue on to the United States Customs Desk. Be sure that the following items are taken care of:
1. All prescription drugs must be clearly marked.
2. No one under 21 years of age may bring alcohol into the country.
3. You may not enter the country with perishable foods such as cheese or nuts.
4. If you are carrying more than $10,000 in U.S. dollars, you must inform a customs official.

Reminder: You are required to complete your program check-in within 72 hours of arrival! This can be done by visiting or by calling our main office. If you choose to call, be sure you speak with an actual person – an email or voicemail check-in will not be accepted.

Please read this “Participant Letter” issued by the United States Department of State to all Summer J-1 Summer Work/Travel Participants.